It was a normal day at Hogsmeade. Wizards and witches were walking along the crowded roads. It was almost midsummer and many were enjoying their holidays there. Hermione had just arrived there from a well earned holiday. She had finished her studies to become a healer. Everyone had expected for her to become an auror but she was tired of violence and death and wanted to help people instead.
She had been top student in her school and got countless of job offers even before she graduated. She had not replied to any of them. She wasn’t sure where she wanted to work. She wanted to do research along her work, wanted to create better potions and spells. Most of the offerings didn’t give that opportunity except two. One was in France and the other in Scotland. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to move out of the country and away from her dear friends.
She took her take-away salad to a nearby park and sat on a bench to eat it. The park was full of people who were enjoying the beautiful weather. She saw several cute couples cuddling on the grass and smiled sadly. She had dated one student from the school for two years but they had broke up when she found out he had cheated her the whole time. The scumbag had accused her of all their problems. She had walked out of his apartment without saying a word.
Her thoughts were interrupted when small gray owl flew next to her and hooed softly to her.
”Oh hello there! You’ve got me a letter?” Hermione asked smiling.
The owl hooed and moved it’s leg towards her. She took the letter from it and it flew away. She smiled when she saw Mcgonagall’s handwriting on top of the letter. She had been in contact with her regularly after the war. She opened the letter and frowned when she saw it was some sort of a formal letter.
Miss Hermione Granger.
I am contacting you in a matter of business. Our beloved school nurse Poppy Pomfrey has decided to take position in Germany where her husband lives so we have an open position here at Hogwarts. I know you have finished your studies with great success so I am offering the position to you.
Madam Pomfrey has promised to guide you first months if you decide to accept the job.
We wait for your response as soon as possible. We sincerely hope for you to join us here at Hogwarts.
It was a rare moment for Hermione. She was speechless. She read the letter several times to understand what it really meant. Her dream job was about to be hers.
She folded the letter carefully and put it in her bag. She’d write an answer in the evening so she could calm herself. She was so excited she hoped her cellphone would work in Hogsmeade so she could call her parents. She wanted to tell about it to Harry and Ron and she was happy they were going to meet the next day. She could wait until then.
She was so deeply in her thoughts that she didn’t notice how time passed and the air was getting chiller. By the time she snapped out of her thoughts she had planned almost everything in her head. She was almost ready to go to Hogwarts. She stretched her back and rose up to walk to the Three Broomsticks.
She entered the pub and was greeted warmly by madam Rosmerta and few other familiar people. She felt a geltle tug in her head and looked around to find out who had tried to enter her head. She saw no-one who seemed obvious so she put on harder shields in her head to make sure whoever tried to legilimen her, did not succeed. She was used to these kind of things. It was the unpleasant side of being a war hero. There were those who tried to earn from gossips about her life.
She walked to the counter and ordered a warm butterbeer. She took her drink and went to a corner table to have privacy to write the most important letter of her life. She sipped her beer and begun writing the letter. After a while she had a feeling someone was watching her. She looked around and to see if someone was actually watching her. Her eyes locked to pair of dark piercing eyes.
Severus Snape. Years had treated him well. His before so greasy and dirty hair was now well cut and shining clean. He had gotten few pounds of weight and it made him look good. She saw the scars on his neck that remainded her how close it had been that he almost died back there. Luckily he had some sort of immunity against poisons from years of being a potions master. He had been barely alive when Harry had gone back to him and took him to the hospital. They used all their knowledge to remove the venom from him and it had taken months before he got out of the hospital.
Harry had made clear to everyone what he did during the war and when he finally made out of the hospital, he was given the honor of being one of the heroes of the war. Needless to say he was not impressed of the title and wanted to be left alone. Mcgonagall asked him to return back to Hogwarts and to everyones surprise he accepted the position as the potions master and not the dark arts teacher everyone thought he wanted to be.
She realized he was actually staring at her and she didn’t know why. He nodded at her almost smiling, lifted his drink to salute and turned back to his papers. had he just flirted with her?
She knew she had changed a lot since she was at school but she never imagined she’d change that much her old teacher wouldn’t remember her.
Severus noticed the woman instantly she walked in the bar. She was beautiful. He noticed how she turned several heads in the bar and some greeted her like an old friend. She clearly was not some random passer by and he was surprised he hadn’t seen her before though she seemed familiar. He tried carefully to see inside her head and was extremely surprised to find out her mind was heavily shielded. And he was even more surprised when she frowned and begun to search the room with her eyes. Had she noticed he tried to enter her mind? He never got caught doing it. Never. Who was she?
He hid in the shadows to avoid her search. He had chosen the seat just so he could stay unnoticed. He didn’t wish for anyone to join him and bore with their stupidity. After the war the boy had created a picture of him being a hero and after that people had started to think he was a good guy and tried to talk to him. Being a war hero did not make him any more sociable than before so he avoided being recognized.
Everyone thought he was greaseheaded, skeletal skinny man so he tried to eat more and kept his hair clean. It made a huge difference so he was not as easily recognized but suddenly he noticed how some women had tried to flirt with him. He had never even thought that he could be with anyone than Lily but after going out with some women he found out he could keep his feelings with her and his body with them. It suited him and he made it clear to the women how things were.
The woman walked to sit by herself and begun writing a letter. She was so focused on writing that he could exaamine her more closely. She had beautiful long and brown hair that had a hint of red. He couldn’t see her figure perfectly because of her gown but as she had walked past him it seemed that she had an amazing body under that loose cloth.
She glanced up from her letter and loiked straight into his eyes. Only decades of training kept him from showing how the woman affected him. He knew her from somewhere. He lifted his glass to her to greet her and returned to read his papers. He didn’t read anything but tried to search his memory where he had seen her. She must have been one of the nurses who treated him back at St.Mungo’s.
He wanted to know more about the woman so he gathered his papers and went to madam Rosmerta.
”You know the woman sitting next to that pilar over there?” He asked her.
He saw a strange look on her face when she looked at where he pointed.
”Oh you mean that brown haired lady over there? She’s….”
”Madam! I need you back here!” Someone shouted from the backroom.
”Oh I’m sorry dear, I need to go back there.” Rosmerta said and left to backroom.
Severus was pissed. He was about to use legilimen to her but he was interrupted and the chance was gone. A young barmaid smiled at him and asked if he wanted anything.
”Take one firewhisky to that woman next to pilar.” He asked and put some sickles on the counter.
”Yes sir. Shall I say it was from you?” She asked smiling.
He hesitated a while. ”Yes. Tell it’s from me.” He said and walked out from the bar. He glanced one final time at the woman. He would definitely find out who she was and meet her again.
”There you go miss.”
Hermione winced and looked up. Lisset, Rosmerta’s youngest daughter gave her a shot of firewhiskey.
”But I haven’t ordered anything.” She said to her.
”Nope, you didn’t. This is from Snape.” She said grinning. ”Mom said she asked who you are but she couldn’t answer him and he just decided to buy you a drink. I think he’s attracted to you” She continued grinning.
Hermione stared at her mouth open. He really didn’t know who she was. She remembered how she had a crush on him whem she was on third grade. But that crush had been short after they begun to believe he was the bad guy. She had always admired his talents and intelligence. And now when she was an adult she thought she would love to spend time with him. They were going to be golleagues. She smiled at that thought. Maybe… Just maybe she could attract his interests if he didn’t know who she was.
”Uhh.. Thanks. He might regret it later.” She said grinning. ”Please keep this to yourselves. I believe he would not like if this spreads.”
”Our lips are sealed.” Lisset nodded smiling.
Lisset went back to her work and Hermione was left alone with her thoughts. Her life had turned upside down in one day. She was going to work in her dream job and Severus Snape had just offered her a drink. He was interested in her. And they were going to work together. If everything went well they could… What? She had no idea. But if she messed things now he would make her life at Hogwarts a living hell.
What was she going to do?